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EWEB supports apprentices through a training program

May 18, 2023 Robyn Smith, EWEB Communications

lineman moves a cross arm on an electric pole


  1. A person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer.
  2. A beginner at something. 

EWEB has a myriad of skilled trade workers in the electric and water division. Our skilled journeymen are experts in their field, with thousands of training hours and real-world experiences. Acquiring skills is one thing, but do trade workers feel responsible for passing on what they’ve learned to others? The answer is yes. 

That’s why EWEB’s electric division has a unique program dedicated to training and certifying apprentices called the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC). EWEB has nine apprentices from the Line Operation, Substation, and Meter Shop departments.  

Becoming a certified line worker, working daily with high-voltage electrical equipment, is no joke. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) requires an apprentice to complete 7,000 hours of various field duties in their discipline and complete a three-year classroom training which covers everything from electric and circuitry fundamentals to power factors and wiring schematics before they can ultimately take the journeyman exam and become certified in their trade.  

BOLI standards require an apprentice to log field work daily and review it with their employers, who grade them on a scale of 1-5 (exceptional to needs improvement.) That’s where the JATC comes into play. Once a month, the committee reviews each apprentice’s work, tallying their progress in various disciplines or examining weaknesses that need improvement. 

“We’re here to provide constructive feedback so each apprentice can grow and become a successful candidate for certification,” said Cody Nutt, JATC chair and line technician.  

The review committee comprises a chair, secretary, admin, and HR representative. The intent is for EWEB staff to rotate through the officer positions annually.

Nutt, who has been a part of the committee for the past two years, said, “Most of us in the line department rotate through the committee seats. We want to be involved and help others through the program.” 

EWEB's top priority is to provide safe and reliable power to customers; the men and women working on EWEB’s electric grid undergo years of training and mentorship from their peers. Soaking up the lessons learned and past experiences of others. 

John Latourette, EWEB line crew supervisor, and JATC secretary, said, “There’s an old generational mission we impart on new apprentices: at the beginning, you absorb, experience, learn as much as you can about your skill set, and then your priority shifts. Then, after your apprenticeship, you want an apprentice working beside you to pass along your knowledge and ensure they become even more skilled than you.” 

The JATC program has been in place for many years and continues to ensure apprentices evolve best practices by working with and learning from skilled, certified EWEB employees who proudly pass on their knowledge to the next generation. 

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